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The Best Sort of Website Design for Your Business

Apr 2, 2008
There are various schools of thought on website design, but there is agreement on one thing:

Your website, whether a normal site or a blog, should look different from others and should help you establish your business as a brand. This is equally important whether you are an offline business, getting a website, or an internet marketer.

HTML or PHP sites

A conventional website, designed in either HTML or PHP is the best way to go, especially if you have an online business where you need easy navigation to your services or products. This is the approach I recommend. If you do like to keep in touch with your customers in an informal way, you can have a blog attached to any site. In fact, a blog can be installed in most sites in about one minute!

For online marketers, there are some advantages in blogs. They are quick to set up, and it is very easy to add articles. They are not quite so good with images, though, and do not have a navigation structure suitable for products or services. Internet marketers usually have some conventional sites and some blog sites.

The difference between HTML and PHP

If the site is deigned entirely in HTML, each page is different, and is laid out individually. The pages will share common elements such as a header image, maybe other images, the navigation bar at the top or side, and the footer, which usually includes the navigation bar and the copyright notice.

Don't use frames

You can also design a site with frames, in which case the frame is used for all pages. The frame or frame set includes the header, navigation buttons, and any other information found on all pages. The text for that page is in a separate file which is called up. This is not so good for search engine ranking, but can work, so long as the search engine spiders can access the text files and associate them with the page correctly. Usually, if someone searches for your framed site, they will get only to the home page, which is not a good idea. In fact, frames are not good for search engine optimization.

PHP or hybrids load fast

When the site is designed in PHP, the actual code for each page can be a skeleton which calls up other files, such as a navigation bar and header image. Or, each page can include the text of an article, for example, but the other files are still called up.

This is a popular way of building sites because it is quick, and when the search engine spiders access the page, they see all the code and text laid out much the same way as when the surfer visits the site. This is therefore good for search engine ranking. PHP sites are also fast to load.

However, a hybrid approach in which the navigation bar, etc, are in PHP, but the text is on the individual page, also works well. If the site is fairly small, say up to 20 pages, normal HTML also works well.
About the Author
For information on free website designs go to www.persimmonpublishing.com, which is run by John Hartley.
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